Governor Kathy Hochul has announced an enhancement to the FreshConnect Fresh2You program, which aims to increase the purchasing power of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries at farmers markets in New York. The announcement comes as federal pandemic relief funds, which previously supplemented the income of SNAP recipients, have been exhausted.
Gov. Hochul emphasized the importance of fostering robust connections between local farmers and the communities they serve. The Fresh2You initiative seeks to promote healthier food choices, such as dairy, meat, and produce, while also benefiting local farmers and strengthening the food supply chain.
Under the updated program, SNAP recipients shopping at participating farmers markets will receive a dollar-for-dollar match, with $2 checks provided for every $2 spent. This is an increase from the previous $2 match for every $5 spent. Vendors offering SNAP-eligible food items at farmers markets can accept FreshConnect Checks and participate in the program.
The new matching plan will come into effect on April 15, with qualifying foods including dairy, produce, meat, fish, eggs, and other items. Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball expressed excitement about the program, highlighting its potential benefits for both New York consumers and farmers. Ball thanked Governor Hochul for her commitment to New York agriculture and her efforts to strengthen the local food system.
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